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  CSPAN    Today in Washington    News/Business. News.  

    January 17, 2013
    6:00 - 9:00am EST  

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>> i'd like to get back to modeling. some of you may have questions about drought modeling as well. for donald wilhite, the school
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of natural resources, one thing we haven't talked about is preparedness. the united states of course as i mentioned, we saw in 2012 how terrible it was in so many parts of the country. droughts over the last decade. virtually all the regions of the country have been affected. of course, if any of you live in washington, d.c., we are seeing we just haven't had much of a winter. just haven't had the snowfall because it's been way too one. historically, what has been this country's approach to drought management? what is our current level of preparedness do you feel for any severe drought that's going to happen in 2013? >> thanks, veronica. first of all, how many of you are aware that we are still in drought? that's good. building awareness is really a key to driving to address this
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issue. historically the way we dealt with drought in the united states, this is really true globally, is to what's commonly referred to as crisis management. it's amazing that drought, even though it takes such a long time to develop, sneaks up on people. so it's commonly referred to as a creeping phenomenon. so it's hard to know when the drought begins. it's also difficult to know when a drought ends. in terms of our current level of preparedness i guess one way to express this would be on a scale of one to 10, where are we. i think in the united states we are maybe about a five. we have a long way to go. we have made a lot of progress. the program that roger directs with noaa, the national integrated drought information system, was an important step forward. i found the national drought
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center, i think that was an important step forward. we are improving our early warning systems. we are improving our levels of preparedness within states, but many the states are still getting with drought in a reactive mode, which means they respond to drought rather than two things proactively that will lessen the risk of drought when it occurs. we know that drought is a normal part of the climate in the u.s. and around the world. it has been, it is, and it will be in the future. and the concern about climate change is, are we going to have to deal with this more frequently, longer duration, more severity in the future? >> if i could work my way, you, back this way. let's talk a little bit and about what do you think makes this plan up from? that there are no great drought models out there, then how can we tackle this and be more
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proactive? >> well, there are a number of things we need to do. we certainly need to invest in research that's going to improve the lead time for forecast. as i said previously, since droughts take a long time to develop, it's important to have lead times of six months or more in terms of forecast. if you know that there's a high probability in a region that drought is going to develop, hopefully there will be preparedness plans in place, government action, that are going to move us towards putting in place some mitigation measures, measures that will reduce impacts. we can certainly, i mean, there are some states in the united states that is gone to great lengths and have invested a lot of resources in preparedness planning. those models are transferable to other states that are more reactive in nature. we certainly need to continue to work to improve early warning systems, as i mentioned before. the combination of those long
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lead times, the forecast in early warning systems, which are very comprehensive, the one thing about drought is it's important yes, to measure rainfall and temperature, but it's also important to know what's happening in the entire water supply system. so we need to know the status of reservoirs, status of groundwater, status of stream flow, soil moisture, snow impact. all of those will lead into what will define the security of drought. >> margaret, if i could have you enter that same question, what could make this plan better? >> one thing would help if we had monitoring of the some of the more remote areas. this country as was other parts of the world, so that we have an idea where changes are occurring. that's especially true for dry land, areas that are already semiarid, areas where there's not a much wiggle room. if you only get eight inches of rainfall a year, and you lose
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two more inches to evaporate and then used to because of different temperatures, and those are places where we are likely to see the changes very quickly. >> i also believe that drought is a field where we need more research. because it is not known regarding the cost of inaction. the cost of compared this. when you compare what happens in the horn of africa to 9/11, it was known that -- [inaudible]. and, unfortunately, nothing has been done. we experienced 12 million -- [inaudible]. we have passed issues, for instance, of drought in asia
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where early action has cost, let's say, to provide food in the context, $7 per person. but, unfortunately, this has been done today. and when the crash occurred, it has taken almost three times, i think $23 per person to provide them food. that is just to react to it. now, when you consider the impact of drought in the economy, in some nations in africa it has been up to 9% of the gdp of the nation's. for instance, in zimbabwe or even in kenya. so when you consider all this, i think more need to be done for preparedness and for early action. unfortunately the question is why is it the information on
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early, early warning, i think it's because first, drought is not a kind of charismatic disaster. it's not like tsunami or earthquake. it has little subterranean impact. second, we're experiencing more frequent drought. we are reluctant to take action on early warning because maybe they're concerned about taking action and being found wrong. so uncertainty is something that scientists alike. i think my third point also might be that one might say why should we act so early? we may undermine the capacity of committee. so when you put all these together, you may have some reasons why early warning is not leading to early action.
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>> thanks for the question. this issue crosses pretty much everything we are going to hear. why you said that information about the future is not the thing that makes us act? and so this is really critical. as don and i always like is a, it's easy to say let's be bracket. and i say hey, you first. [laughter] why? because the things that trend and margaret are 22 are the reasons. when we see the issue of drought, especially the background of maybe a slowly drying area, and that's not all areas of the world are projected to become drier. they were asking what are our capabilities for dealing with the onset of drought? we have a lot of coping mechanism. we have a lot of reservoir systems, transfers, irrigation systems. it to win the drought begins to become more severe, and those buffers began to fail that we
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find ourselves in a place of sort of catastrophic outcomes, taxes and the livestock impact this year. so what does it take? it takes focusing event but it takes having had an event and the use of the window of that event to plan and engage the public and leadership at the same time. but as don and margaret and treachery are also saying, it's also supporting our collaboration and -- between research and management that puts information into practice on an ongoing basis. the last thing that you require in the case of it is to put out a research project and some comes back three years later with the paper and said you had a drought. which is usually how it operates. so we can't borrow one watch to tell them the time but it has to be much more active in terms of a collaborative framework
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between research and management. that being said, we also know the things that we should be doing. luc pointed out too many of them, and the very same things we as people do during a drought is what we asked them to do before a drought, on water efficiency, conservatism, it's one. why is that critical to note? it's critical to now because as don consulate points out, drought is not like other natural disasters. accumulative risks in the nature of drought, very similar to this issue of climate change is the thing that is deceptive. we think we know what happens but there's an old saying i think from a famous philosopher, i think his name was satchel paige, where he said uncertainty is not what you don't know. it's what you know that isn't so. what you believe about the past and which are capabilities are that might not apply to the future. >> since drought is a creeping
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phenomenon, how many of you here think that the media, whether it's print or broadcast, does enough to communicate when we are in a drought, still in a drought? let's see a show of hands. okay. so clearly, clearly i would say that's part of the link here, too, that we need to -- communicate better and i would argue that would be state agencies as well. this question goes to mr. wilhite. west texas will, this is a question for our audience. west texas will be entering into its third year of severe drought. yet little has been done to prepare for long-term drought. what should be done to address this type of situation? where they find themselves again in the same situation. >> well, this is not only an
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issue for west texas. it's an issue for most of the country. one of the things, and it was pointed out earlier, with regard to the drought issue is that drought virtually affects every part of this country. there's a tendency to think that drought is a western issue, but i think we've seen in recent decades that drought has become very severe on places in the east coast, southeast, south central and so forth. so it's not just a western issue. in the case of west texas, in the case of regions throughout the country, it's very important that states put in place proactive, risk reduction plans to deal with a drought. and this needs to cascade from the state level down to the local level. so the local communities are also putting in place drought contingency plans or water shortage plans. my philosophy, however, is that
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a lot of this has to begin at the national level. the federal government and the agencies of the federal government that are responsible for monitoring, management, respond to emergencies, et cetera, they must follow this risk reduction approach when it comes to drought. currently the way we deal with drought is this crisis management approach, and we are talking about relief. relief really increases vulnerability in the long term because it actually promotes dependence on government rather than self-reliance or self dependence. and so we need to find ways to instill the process in this whole drought management area. and i think it begins with a national drought policy. which this country doesn't have in place and maybe we can talk about it more as we go on. >> good point. >> could i make a comment? where i'm working right now, the
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area i work in is in northeastern arizona, western new mexico on the navajo nation, and this, this area of the u.s. has actually been in a drought since 1994. we know that from some of the monitoring of the usgs is doing. officially the drought started in 1996, and back in 2010 i wrote a drought study thing that the drought had ended because we had a wet gear, and then the next year it just went right back to drought conditions again. it's an area where water shortages are common to begin with, but the drought of -- drought mitigation plans are typical of many drought mitigation plans actually, that you bring in water, to the areas that are being impacted and have reduced water supply, that you bring in supplemental a as forage for livestock because that's a big part of the economy
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in the area, and what has happened over the it is essentially there's only so much hate in water you can pull to present people had to do something with her livestock and they were in such poor condition by the time they realized that, that over 30,000 cattle died in 2002. so a lot of time drought mitigation plans will work fine for one or two years, but when we are starting to talk about long-term drought, we have to rethink, read plan for drought and what we do. >> there are two more questions right there. i wanted to go to roger. do you think that we will be safe, make a drought's taking place in more parts of the country and then move it back on a policy question. >> the answer to that is most likely. but the reason that it's most like is because it happened in the past the during the medieval
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warfare, 900 to 12, 13 and. we have heard of traffic isn't as and cholera basin of droughts lasting anywhere from 60 to 100 years. in the record. when we have an increasing temperature, it does not necessarily cause a drought, but it exacerbates the conditions related to drought for the reasons i mentioned related to a rickety. during 2004, 2005, the winter of 2004-2005 we had 100% of snowpack and the colorado basin. the runoff was 70% expected because the springtime was still warm. this was the warmest year on record, warmest spring on reco record. the only year in which we have seen as large an area of the nation covered in moderate to severe drought for more than three months was 1934, not even during the 1950s.
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and the 1930s were also a warm decade. from the standpoint of increasing the severity of drought i think increasing temperatures will definitely have an impact. from the standpoint of whether or not these types of droughts and events have occurred in the past, they have. and as a result, the laws of chance simply tell us that they will happen again spent before we get to the policy question, this kind of goes with what we just addressed here, and margaret, you're a case study, and this is a question from alan. is question is, are you aware of any case studies where particular communities actually did take a proactive approach for drought management, and where it worked and where we could take a case -- take a look at the case study and applied elsewhere?
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>> well, i guess i would have to go back to historic times, because as i mentioned before i worked with navajo communities and so i know a lot about the way people coped with drought before reservation lands were established. and one of the things that people did was they were more aware of how the ecosystem operated, and would move according to what the current conditions work. they would move their livestock so they were more flexible, and the permitting systems and the types of things we have in place now as far as land tenure and where a person lives, have essentially put barriers in the way so that people cannot use the old systems that they used to cope with with drought. so there are instances in native
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american cultures before colonialization where we know people coped with drought. of course, there were times when it actually didn't make it through drought, which is the abandonment in the southwest. at even those people had many, many drought or hundreds of years before they had problems during that megadrought. >> i think don has a response. >> well, in terms of the current situation, you can look at the state of colorado, for example. the state of colorado is doing quite an effort at the moment to revise its state drought plan. one of the questions we normally get from states that are looking either to develop a drought plan or to revise their current drought plan is a national drought mitigation center is and you tell me a few states that i
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could look to as models in terms of the type of drought continued deployment they have been doing that we could try to adapt to our situation. if you go to the drought mitigations website you can click on all of the states and you can find out who's in char charge, what they're task force's ensuing. so there are models out there. and interesting case study, however, is the drought mitigation center, myself and some of my staff and several other colleagues worked with the state of georgia to develop a drought plan earlier in this century. so around 2000, 2002 and so forth, in response to recurring drought, a very detailed drought mitigation plan was put together for the state of georgia. they then went out of drought and then they came back in around 2005, 2006, and i was invited to come down and talk to
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a group at lunch, several hundred people, about the drought conditions that the state was experiencing. i asked for a show of hands, how many in the audience, mostly people from the atlanta area, was aware that the state of georgia had a drought plan. and i think three hands went up. here's a case where they developed a drought plan but it was never implemented because it became wet. and so it sat on the shelf and people were unaware of it. >> they might go all, we've got rain, we've been doing okay for the last 30 days, we're fine. that's not the case. >> i think it's important, going back to roger's definition to start with, you know, droughts are this extended period of deficiency of precipitation, obviously can be exacerbated by high wind, by high temperatures, by low relative humidity and so forth.
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so it's this combination of intensity and direction, but the real key is the fact that how this intensity and duration over a period of time begins to impact on the environment and on people. and so that's when you get into agricultural drought, hydrologic drought, and there's another type of drought sometimes referred to which is more socioeconomic drought, which is kind of a supply and demand thing, so there gets to be a lot of confusion sometimes between what is an agricultural drought and what is at hydrologic drought. in the minds of the public eye which is a also in the minds of some researchers and scientists speed roger, you live right there in colorado, quite a few months out of the year so you in a state that's got the perfect case study. i think he wanted to make a comment on that? >> so from the standpoint of the state of colorado, one of the things, and other states that don has mentioned them is the idea of linking the drought plan
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to the other planning mechanis mechanisms. the links between the drought plan and the water resources plan in many cases are very tenuous. one of the few states that's actually trying to make a link between long-term use of the aquifer and its drought plan, that don and others helped develop in the state of kansas as well. speak in terms of where have people ask or try to put things into place up front to help reduce or the future disaster risk to their several cases from around the world, and one that comes to mind right away is the country of namibia which has put into place a water demand management strategy. from that standpoint we have to ask how much this conversation really get us in terms of resistance. is it just a personal virtue. some of you might remember.
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anywhere, the idea though is where than the savings occur? we estimate the conversation savings is about 35%. without reducing the quality of life. and this is a major perception that don and others, lou, have pointed out for a long time but that the actions to stave off disaster risk do not necessarily have to negatively impact the quality of life because we do not fully understand as luc points out the cost of an action. so what we do instead is comeback in emergency management frame, the problem with that is the background is changing in certain places are getting more eric. emergency management does not get you out of it. it can actually deepen the catastrophic system. >> i'm going to let this question go to luc. what about policy that may be a little harder?
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policy and program. this is a question submitted from the epa. how can policy and programs support local environmental knowledge and adaptive capacities to respond to drought bucks do we need more policy in place the? >> well, we need more policy. in fact, some this policy undermining the capacity to co cope. so we need to change the policy. let me give you the example of somebody communities working in the sahara and. for instance, in the south or east -- [inaudible]. in the last two decades and have come from the late '80s, some committee has been building resilience to droughts, improving water management and it has been this movement which
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is grassroots level movement has been coming out of farmers. that generation. they ended up restoring up to 5 million -- [inaudible]. as a matter of fact, i think it was two years ago when asia experienced drought. these committees, they have been quite self-sufficient in two situations. so the lesson is that policies should contribute to skating of those type of success stories. policies shouldn't hurt them. and beyond that policies ought to contribute to knowledge. [inaudible]. farmer to farmer knowledge sharing. because farmers do trust farmers. and when you take a farmer, successful, and to bring into the community where people are in need of the lessons he is
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learned, of course they will listen to them. you make google on youtube, you would see -- documentary called the man who stopped the desert. those titles might be misleading because they are not stopping the desert. it's quite interesting. so yes, we need to be humble enough when we want to design policies to learn from what is working. >> margaret, you mentioned a little bit about parts of the southwest you work with. talk a little bit about monitoring and early warning. we know that it's good but what about the management of land? what have you done differently to make better use of the rain that does fall? if you can toggle bit more in specifics. >> -- talk on little bit more in specifics.
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>> making better use of the rain that does fall? i guess one of the things that we can control is how much rain we get. but we can control how we use the water that we have. again, you know, i have probably more examples of how this hasn't worked then how it has. >> okay. >> in some of the arid parts of arizona when the 1930s drought hit, people were having trouble, again with livestock, and so what they did was they drilled a number of shallow wells to pump water up to the surface, and what coincided with that water pump which and use of the water for livestock was a decreasing aridity of the area because essentially what it did was they took a very limited water resource, people didn't understand how limited it was at that time, and essentially
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punted up to the surface where it would evaporate away and be used up very quickly. so i took what limited water supplies that were in the system and use them very quickly. other things that we need to think about, too, though are what we use our water for him of course. is it really the wisest use of our water, for recreation or is it for drinking or isn't for swimming pools? so we have to start thinking about what our society once and what we value. >> sounds like this kind of goes to the conservation part of it that we address as well, what's most important to us as we look at that in those communities that will be more and more by drought over the coming years. i have a question regarding the natural disaster recovery framework.
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and before i put this question to donald wilhite, let me see a show of hands to the audience. how many of you think that our country does an adequate job at addressing drought? how many of you think we do a good job and how many of you think we do a great? .. >> what has happened since then? >> well, one of the key difficulties that goths whether -- that governments have
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in dealing with drought is coordination of the various agencies and so forth of that government on the drought issue. because they all have different responsibilities. and so the disaster recovery program was an attempt to coordinate the activities of the federal agencies to focus their efforts, to make sure that i think all of the key issues were being addressed. and i think this has been a very positive movement on the part of this administration. this is really the first time that i know of that this has happened. and so i think you saw a vast improvement in terms of the delivery of response services, different programs, reduction in the amount of time it took to designate areas eligible for disaster assistance, for example, through the u.s. department of agriculture. so these were all positive steps. once again, it's reactive.
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so we need to put in place more proactive measures that hopefully will cause us to look at what the impacts of drought are in advance and try to put in place risk reduction measures that will lessen those impacts when droughts occur. so the role of some of the federal agencies or state agencies in the case of drought preparedness plans would tend to change. it would shift to a more proactive set of measures rather than just reactive. there's always a need for response and reaction because you can't anticipate everything. but there's a lot of things based on the history of drought and its impacts that we can understand. >> and, don, you mentioned some areas that states have been proactive in planning, um, those states that can serve as models of being good examples.
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what states have done well and showed, um, showed to be good models down the row if you could recap that? >> okay. well, three of the key areas that states need to address as part of their mitigation plans, one is the whole monitoring/early warning information system. so quite a few states have really improved their monitoring of sort of the water supply system. for a number of different reasons, but one is to have a better handle on drought, where it's occurring, where it's emerging, what are the concerns coming up in terms of regions of the state tar going to be affected. -- that are going to be affected. so you see a lot of examples where early warning monitoring has been improved. trying to improve the information flow between different agencies of government with the federal government as
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well to make sure in this information is getting out to people. another key element of these drought plans which you've seen in arizona, new mexico's done some work in this area, colorado, nebraska, georgia and so forth is in the area of sort of vulnerability or risk assessment. it's important to know what sec or to haves, what population -- what sectors, what parts of the state are most vulnerable to drought. and you can determine this by looking at the impacts of recent droughts. so you see where the impacts are occurring, what communities are most at risk with regards to tear water supply, and then you try to address those vulnerabilities. and so that's another key point. and once you identify those vulnerabilities, another component, a third component is putting into place proactive measures or actions that will actually lead to a reduction in the impacts in those vulnerable areas with those vulnerable sectors and so forth.
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>> great. as we work our way back up, i'm taking another question here from the audience on one of our index cards. we often discuss the physical environmental factors that need to be monitored or modeled and planned against. margaret, what are the social-human aspects, and what do you feel are the most critical issues in this area? >> well, there are areas of the u.s. and other countryies where there are very vulnerable populations because they're marginalized. as you mentioned, there are segments of the population that are more vulnerable. part of this is because there's a lack of resources for response, lack of resources for monitoring, but also in general, um, a lack of alternatives because of economic constraints, for instance. so there are people, um, who will continue to live a specific
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lifestyle because they're economic economically feint -- dependent on getting that return from that lifestyle. agriculturally, i'm speaking, you know? they're worried about eating tomorrow more than they're worried about the drought, um, three months from now. or i guess they're constrained about worrying about eating tomorrow rather than what's going to happen three months from now. and so there are populations, for instance, again, on the navajo nation where there are elderly people who have never been to school, today don't speak english, and they have no other place to go. today can't move to a different part of the country and take up a current -- take up a different type of life assume. and so when it gets really dry and they are limited in their water resources, there's a great deal of hardship and a lot of impacts that take place. of one, they have to go farther and farther and pay more and
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more to get water. their livestock, a lot of times, don't make it, but they are dependent on their livestock for food and sustenance and keeping the family going. so even when they see the conditions around them changing, they don't really have the resources to change with it. so even if there is a forecast saying next year is going to be dry, they really don't have the alternatives out there to change. and that's how the decertification process takes place is when people really don't have the alternatives and the new york stock exchange about and the resources to cope with the drought. so they keep doing the thingses they know are going to damage the ecosystem and their future prospects, but they have really no other alternative. >> it republican seems to -- it almost seems to me like we're going back to policy.
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roger, yes, you have a comment? yeah. >> so one of the things to keep in mind when we talk about what we should be monitoring, and, i mean, the people on this panel know quite a bit about that, when we ask the question what other types of indicators we should be monitoring, of course the economics comes to bear. we know about hurricane sandy, anybody has an estimate of what the drought of 2012 has cost us so far? the issue is within agriculture alone, the estimate from usda to date is almost $50 billion within agriculture alone. what ends up happening, and don and others could tell you from work done by the national drought mitigation center, is when we ask, well, where are those impacts coming from, the agricultural impacts constituted about 25% of the total number of of reported impacts that we had seen. water resources, energy, wildfire. and one of the things you order in the last discussion and in
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this one that is the underappreciated aspect of the impacts of drought and air ridty, the loss of ecosystem sources as they support and supply tourism, recreation, clean water and clear air. we do not have any sense of what the costs of those multiple impacts are. we know a bit about the insured impacts from agriculture, but so, therefore, what needs to be considered? the indicators, as margaret is saying, about how people are economically impacted, but as critically how they're socially impacted. if we're to put plans into place, we have to and how do you know they're working? the indicators include the development of people's capacity to respond. not simply the number of plans, but what in those plans allows the inclusion of information. that's what we call tracking the
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outcomes. that's the kind of indicators. the combination, certainly, of the physical system, the social and economic, but also the capacity engaged for decision making. that's three aspects that we are familiar with. and john wesley powell said in the late 1800s, wow, don't develop the colorado system, you're going to overuse it. but you know what? we're there. it's been a hundred years, more than a hundred years, and the system has provided the water for the needs in which it was first designed. those needs have changed. tsa what we haven't realized -- that's what we haven't realized. these other hases are, n., adding up to the cost. the cost -- the benefits of recreation on lake powell are now equal to the benefits of hydropower on that system. so we have to keep in mind these cross-scale impacts, but also a map onto the capabilities of people to respond. the type of plans, the type of impacts.
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we put into place the taylor grazing act in 1934, one of the best things we ever did. the question is can they address the state we're in? >> i'd like to go down the panel, and i'd like for the rest of the panelists to give a minute on what you feel is the best plan of attack then in the coming years to deal with drought, drought mitigation and it impact on society. >> thank you. i was taught by -- [inaudible] impact we have here which is not only migration leading to result-based conflict. you can see it across the sahara, you can see it in north kenya where drought is causing, of course, depletion of metro capital and migration. and, therefore, more competition over various resources. so the way to address it is precisely as you have just said,
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is to develop the capacity of the people to respond. and to respond means precisely promoting or improving -- [inaudible] this should be embedded in national drought policies at the national level with capacity made available at local level to insure that they are capable whenever information provided to them to respond. >> thank you. margaret? >> i think it would really help, first of all, to help increase the capacity of people to respond as everybody has said. i think that that's very, very key. but also understanding what our vulnerabilities are and what the limits are to the ecosystems that we are living in. pause many of them are resource -- because many of them are resource-limited such as the
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southwestern u.s., but that's the area with the largest growing population, um, that we have in the country. so, um, there's a crossroads that we're approaching because we're not planning for the limitations of the resources that we have. >> and, mr. wilhite. >> well, one of the key elements, i think, in dealing with drought in the future, i mean, drought policy is something that's received quite a bit of attention in the past, but there hasn't been a lot of drought policy developing at the national level and countries throughout the world. so a very positive thing that's happening now which hopefully will bear fruit in the next few years is the world meteorological organization in combination with unccd, luc's organization, fao and about 15 other organizations including noaa in the united states have been working to plan a
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high-level meeting on national drought policy that's going to be held in geneva, switzerland, in mid march of this year. and i've been working with that group to organize that particular meeting. and the goal there is to provide a framework that national governments throughout the world can use to develop a national drought policy and adapt it to their particular needs. so what we're trying to provide to nations are a set of best practices that they could use and employ to reduce the impacts of future droughts. because the concern about drought in the future is highly related to the issue of climate change and what's going to happen to the frequency, severity and duration of those events. >> sounds to me like so many things in our world we really do, on this issue, need to build better partnerships and, of course, better policy. i'd like to thank all the panelists that we have with us today, toss it back to peter.
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>> thank you, veronica. thank you, everybody. [applause] >> several live events to tell you about today here on c-span2. in the morning former senators kent conrad and judd gregg discuss the debt and deficit reduction at an event hosted by the u.s. chamber of commerce. that's at 8:30 ian. eastern. and at 1 p.m. eastern, the national immigration forum holds a news conference. speakers are scheduled to include tom donohue of the u.s. chamber and former commerce secretary carlos gutierrez. >> he had been talking about this dream that he had had. he had talked about it for years, you know? the american dream, and that it had become his dream. he had been in detroit just a few months before, and he had talked about i have a dream that america will someday realize these principles
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of the declaration of independence. so, um, i think he was just inspired by that moment. >> sunday on "after words," claiborne carson recalls his journey as a civil rights activist participating in the 1963 march on washington to prominent historian and editor of martin luther king jr.'s papers. it's part of three days of booktv this weekend. monday featuring books on president obama and martin luther king jr. >> now an update on preparations for president obama's inauguration on monday. representatives of the inaugural committees, the u.s. capitol police and the military spoke with reporters at the national press club for a little less than an hour. >> okay, thank you. thank you very much. thank you to the press club or for hosting us today. just to warn you, this is going to be a little bit of a dance as we try to run through this chronologically. as you can imagine, there's a
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lot of different players that are involved in the events that will be taking place over the next few days. my name is brent colburn, that's b-r-e-n-t. i am the communications director or for the presidential inaugural committee. and we are involved in this weekend really doing a lot of the public events that fall outside the official swearing-in which matte can can -- matt can talk to. and, in fact, as i kind of think about this, it may make sense or for us to do this not chronologically and do this in sections. and, in fact, i think, matt, if you want to walk through the jsic side, and then we'll do the pic side and then we'll do the jtf side, if that's okay with folks. the three main groups that put this together is the pic. we're a quasi-governmental organization that's stood up every four years to represent the president and vice president's views. we do a lot of the events like working with the jtf on the
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parade, working on the official inaugural balls which we'll talk about later, and some of the other events you'll hear about like the national day of service and the kids' inaugural children's concert. then there's the jsic which really is congress' equities, they deal with all the official swearing-in pieces and then the jtf which does the military piece of this which, obviously, is a huge piece, the colonel will talk about from a support standpoint. and then, obviously, i want to say thank you to our law enforcement partners who are represented by the d.c. police department today. he represents, our representative today represents a huge law enforcement presence that will be helping keep us all safe over the next four or five days. with that, matt, do you want to talk a little bit about jsic and what you guys will be doing? >> thanks, brent. good morning, everyone. my name's matt house, i'm the press secretary for the joint congressional committee on inauguraller ceremonies, our
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purview is primarily everything that's happening on capitol hill on monday. really the inauguration preparations begin the minute the previous one ends, so our staff on the rules committee in the senate has been hard at work preparing, and i just want to talk briefly about our theme for monday and then i'll walk through some of the logistical components and then, of course, i'm happy to answer additional questions at the end. the theme for this year is faith in america's future. this is a theme that was selected by chairman schumer, spent a lot of time thinking about it. and this year marks the 150th year since the completion of the capitol dome with the capping of the statue of freedom on top. of the project began in the 1850s and stopped midway through when the civil war broke out, and there was a question among congress and the president as to whether we could fight a civil war and finish the dome. president lincoln said if the people see the congress -- see
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the capitol going on, it is a sign that we spend the union -- we intend the union shall go on. so congress found the money, came together, were able to, obviously, complete the capitol dome, and senator schumer selected this theme knowing we have challenges we face as a country now. but if we look back at what we accomplished 150 years ago, we can find faith in america's future that we can overcome these obstacles again. so this is a theme that will be in some of the program materials that are districted to folks who come -- distributed the to folks who come to the capitol, and you'll see it in various elements throughout the program. the day for our committee really begins at 9:00 when the members head to the white house for a coffee and tea with the president. senator mcconnell also joins that group. from there there's a coffee with the president, the vice president, the first lady and dr. biden as well. then everyone begins to make their way back to the capitol at about 10 or 10:30 depending on how the coffee and tea proceeds.
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our members come, and they're there, they get there a few minutes early ahead of the president. they'll greet the president and senator schumer as they come in on the senate side of the capitol at about 10:40, and then everyone goes into the capitol, we start the procession out with dignitaries, former presidents and the vips that are announced to the platform begins right about 11, and it proceeds for about 30 minutes when the president is introduced out onto the platform. senator schumer opens the ceremonies with a few remarks, and then brent will talk a little bit later about how the program proceeds from there. for folks who are coming to the mall to watch the ceremony or coming with a ticket to the ticketed area on the west front, we're going to be opening the doors at 7 a.m. we've advised everyone to make sure that they're there by about 9:30 to make sure there's time for screening and that everyone can get through and get to their ticketed place, um, in time to see the festivities.
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we've got a number of crowd management strategies we're implementing this year to improve on some of the systems that were in place last time to prevent some of the issues that folks experienced with getting into ther ceremonies, and i'm happy to speak more to that during the q&a session. we've planned for many, many months for crowds of all sizes. we think that we have a great system in place to make sure that everyone who has a ticket or who's coming to the nonticketed area on the mall can see the ceremonies. i'm happy to go into more questions on that during the question and answer session, so i'll turn it back to brent. >> thank you, matt. and just to complete a little bit what the monday portion will look like at the p capital, obviously, senator schumer will welcome us, and then we'll begin a traditional run of show, if you will, for the inauguration day. vice president biden will be administered the oath of office, this will be done by sprowrs justice sonia sotomayor who will become the first latino ever to
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do a swearing-in for a president or vice president and the fourth woman. after that -- and that'll be done on the biden family bible. this was of the same bible used by vice president biden four years ago and used throughout his swearing-ins as senator. following the swearing-in of the vice president, james taylor will sing "america the beautiful" after which president obama will be administered the oath of office. this will be done as is done traditionally, by supreme court justice john roberts, and there'll actually be two bibles used this time. the first is the lincoln bible, it's the same bible that was used by president lincoln when he was sworn in for the first time in 1861. and that will be on top of the king family bible which has been graciously provided for this ceremony by the king family. excuse me. kelly clarkson will then sing "my country 'tis of thee" before
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richard blanco reads an original poem written just specifically for this occasion. we're very excited that richard blanco will be joining us. he is the youngest-ever inaugural poet, the first hgbt -- lgbt inaugural poet. reverend louis leon will be overseeing the traditional st. johns service that kicks off the president's day will be offering the benediction, and the ceremony will end with beyonce singing the national anthem. one quick thing on the bibles. obviously, these are very, very historic bibles and very symbolic bibles as we head into the 150th anniversary of the emancipation proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the march on washington in 1963. with that, i'd like to hand it over to our partners at jtf to talk about the inaugural parade which will take place after the lunch that matt discussed.
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ma'am? >> thank you. as they said, i'm colonel michelle roberts from joint task force national capitol region, and our task force has responsibility for planning and coordinating all of the military ceremonial support for the inaugural activities. um, once the luncheon is complete the president, the first lady, the vice president is and the second lady will be escorted out to the east front of the capitol where they will be greeted by major general michael linnington, the commander of the task force, and he will escort them down the steps to take what is called the pass and review. and pass and review, essentially, is the presidential escort unit which is comprised of approximately 380 service members followed by each of the service honor guards in, um, the u.s. army band as well as the marine corps band. and they will go past the president's location on the
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steps on the east front of the capitol. and once they complete the pass and review, then the presidential escort, they fall into the, um, the motorcade, and then they start the parade route. now, along the parade route we have approximately 2,300 military personnel participating in the parade. there are approximately 10,000 total personnel in the parade. and the way the parade is organized, there are five divisions in this parade. each division is led by a service component. so division one will be led by the army, division two by the marines, division three by the navy, division four by the air force and division five by a mixture of the coast guard and the merchant marines. and, essentially, it's comprised of military bands, service elements that represent the active, reserve and national
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guard components and then followed by various civilian, um, groups that have applied to be included in the parade. along the entire parade route is a military cordon. that cor,rdon is comprised of approximately 1500 service members from all services. for the activities at the capitol, we have approximately 800 military service members there performing various functions from the presidential escort to bands to the herald trumpets, the presidential salute battery as well as ushers and military assistants. i'll turn it back over. >> can you spell your name? >> sure, it's michelle with two ls. middle initial l and then roberts, r-o-b-e-r-t-s. >> what branch of the service? >> i'm army.
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>> thank you. and colonel roberts really did not give the jtf enough credit for the work they do for this. it's not just the parade piece. as matt indicated, there are people that work on this inaugural weekend for months and in some cases up to a year beforehand preparing for whomever is elected in november. and as someone who participated in the inaugural four years ago and we had absolutely no idea what we were doing, i can tell you that the folks at the jcic regardless of who the chair is and the folks at jt if you can are there ready for you when you walk in the door and really do a lot of the logistical lift. it's more our job just to make sure the president's imprint is put on the event, and one of the ways we do that is in the parade as the colonel mentioned along with all these military elements, there are 58 different groups, 58 different groups, floats and vehicles. these are from all 50 states. they are everything from the virginia military institute just across the river in virginia
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down in southern virginia which has march inside a number of inaugural parades all the way through a group, one of my favorites, a group from maine of unicyclists that will be joining us that i believe they are called -- let me give the name quite right, the gym dandies, gym, of of course, being spelled g-y-m in this case. so they will pass and review in front of the white house. the president will stand and. watch the entire pass and review and enjoy the parade along with thousands of folks who will come down and be watching from along the parade route. once that ends, the president goes inside, and the official part of his day is done. and he gets ready for the inaugural balls. so as you've seen reported, there are two inaugural balls this time, the first is the commander in chief's ball. excuse me. again, the commander in chief's ball is a tradition that was started by george bush that we have continue. it's a chance for us to honor our partners in the military,
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um, and i know jtf has been included in the selection process for the individuals that will be attempting. that's mostly enlisted personnel. excuse me. from all the branches. then there is a second, larger inaugural ball. i'm more than happy to answer questions as we get a bit into the q&a portion. so with that, before we go into some of the saturday e events, i just wanted to invite our partners from the capitol police to talk about security not just for monday, but for the entire weekend of activities. >> good morning, even. my name is officer shennell antrobus, and i will definitely spell my fame for you. [laughter] -- spell my name for you. last name is spelled a-n-t-r-o-b-u-s.
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i am the public information officer for the united states capitol police. i'm sorry, ma'am in. >> i'm sorry, i didn't hear -- >> that's okay. i'll repeat it. my title is public information officer -- >> are you aer is gem, an officer? >> i'm an officer. no worries. the united states capitol police are responsible in conjunction with our law enforcement partners to insure the safety of those attending the inaugural ceremonies throughout the weekend. first and foremost, we want everyone to enjoy the democratic process and this historic day. with any event that occurs on the capitol complex, safety is our number one priority. that said, safety and security for potus, guests of public, etc. is not carried out just by us, but by partnership with our law enforcement community that would include but not limited to metropolitan police, united
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states secret service, park police and other entities as well as public safety entities. the partnership that we have established to create a pretty robust, multifaceted security plan has been in the works for many months, and while it cannot go into detail about those security, about the security plan, excuse me, please know that we have trained extensively to address any issues that may come up during the day. thank you. >> thank you, officer. i appreciate that. and as someone that did security communications before heading back to the campaign last year, i can tell you that during the q&a the officer will have the easiest job because he'll yet to say i'm not allowed to say that more than anybody else. [laughter] that is monday, the day most people will be paying most attention to when it comes to the inaugural. saturday's a big day for us. two traditions that were started in 2009 by the first family, the
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national day of service and the kids' inaugural children's concert, the national day of service will be taking place across the country, events in all 50 states and a large event down here on the mall. we are very excited yesterday to announce that chelsea clinton has joined us this year as the honorary co-chair. she'll be appearing at the mall event. she'll be joined by a number of celebrities and performers there including eva longoria, bo biden, ben folds -- who i'm excited about from my time in college -- as well as 100 organizations from all across the capitol region that do service. and folks will be able to go down and talk to these people, basically it's a fair-type atmosphere, learn more about how to serve and how they can continue to do service in their communities moving forward. we will also have events in all 350 states -- 50 states. and this is actually the first
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inaugural committee that has paid for staff in all 50 states, because this is a priority of the first family to see this service day both to honor the memory of martin luther king jr., but also as a tradition that we hope will live on past this inaugural and become part of inaugurations regardless of who's in our position in four years. once we wrap up on the mall, there's one more event on saturday evening, that's the kids' inaugural children's concert. this was a tradition started in 2009 by dr. biden and fist lady -- first lady michelle obama. it is an extension of their joining forces initiative to help honor military families. we're going to be announcing details on talent in the next coming days. we've put out an initial list of talent that will be appearing at either both the balls on monday night and the kids' concert or one or the other. as you can imagine, this is a logistical lift to get that all
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pieced together as a puzzle, and we hope by friday to announce which acts will be appearing in which places. over half of the audience will be made up of military kids, and this is a great place to honor not just the sacrifice of the men and women who serve every day, but of the families who support them. on tuesday, jumping ahead of what we just discussed or past what we just discussed, there will also be the traditional prayer service taking place at the national cathedral. both the first and second family will attend, and again, this is a tradition that is part of most inaugurals. we'll be announcing the run of show for that in the next couple days, we're still working with the cathedral on who will be there. but the president will attend, and it'll be a nice way to cap off the four days of public celebration. i think that's everything we've got in terms of the run of show. i'm sure you all have a number of questions. i'm just making sure i didn't miss anything in the number of events that we cover. um, i think that's about it.
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so if, i'm more than happy to open it up to questions at this point. and, again, i would just be remiss if i didn't say thank you to all of our partners as well as our law enforcement partners headed by the capitol police and the u.s. secret service who have done a fantastic job working with all of us. >> before -- one item of housekeeping before we go to q&a. if i recognize you to ask a question, if you could identify yourself by name and your news organization, and in the time we have for questions, we'll try to get to as many of you as we can. why don't we start in the front, yes. >> stacy klein b with nbc news, you mentioned that you hope to have significant improvements in security and the flow of things for monday. obviously, it's important that the public get in, but i think here we're a little more concerned with media. i know last year some networks missed air due to lines even three, four in the morning. can we expect improvements on that front? >> sure. i think across the board there'll be improvements in
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every type of person in and out of the capitol. we'll be issuing media guidelines in the next day or so that will make very clear the movements, and i think we've been planning for many months all the individuals who are credentialed for the event, and i'm confident they'll be able to get in. everyone should be on the same page as far as where folks can and can't go, and i think that we're also making accommodations which we'll have more details on later to folks who are interested in broadcasting from the capitol on sunday around some of the events happening that today. i think we've got a good plan in place and folks should get where they need to go. >> if i could just add on the public side, you know, we do have the advantage of having done this four years ago from the presidential inaugural committee side. a lot of the planning steps we took were trying to learn from some of the challenges from last time. , and in fact, one of the reasons we've consolidated the two balls into the convention center when four years ago they were spread out over either, i think, four or five locations
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was in order to decrease our footprint and make this a more manageable process for the city, law enforcement and folks attending. so our hope is both in and out of the official ceremony as well as the other events will be smooth. and i know jcic put out a great online tool for the public, i think they announced it earlier this week. it's a mobile web page, mobile web app that matt can speak more to but really has to do with what's going to be going on here in d.c. the pic has also put out a mobile app as part of our effort to make sure people across the country can be involved in the event. it has a lot of information on the day of service that i talked about, also some logistical information for people that are attending the event. so we're really between those tools and using twitter and other kind of realtime social media tools hopefully going to make this as smooth a process as possible and would also put a plug in for jtf that has a fantastic presence about their effort online as well. i think we've seen a big leap
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forward on how we're using new media in order to make it a smoother event. >> in front, please. >> maria pena, i was wondering if any of you could address how much -- what the cost is, what the price tag is for all of the preparations? and also in addition to the, you know, um, hispanic people involved with pic, any other hispanic celebrities or national leaders that will be joining the celebrations over the four-day -- >> sure. you know, i'll defer on the cost issue. as you can imagine, there are a number of individual groups and organizations and entities that go into this, so ascertaining an overall cost before the event actually happens is tough. a lot of these are moving budgets. so that's something we'll be able to speak to more after the event actually occurs and we tally up some of these bills. in terms of the hispanic community's involvement, the president is committed to making sure that -- and i know all the leaders involved are committed to making sure this is an event
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that really reflects america. i think you'll see in the parade a number of groups not just from the hispanic community, but from other commitments across the country, and we can get that full list of participants from you that really show not just our geographic diversity, but also the diverse thety of communities that make up this country. as we mentioned, the inaugural poet this year will be a cuban-american. the benediction is being given also by a cuban-american this year at the official event. and then, again, i think you'll see a number of leaders attending. eva longoria will be here, she's one to have the co-chairs of the presidential inaugural committee, she was a big supporter of the president's during the campaign. but i think you'll see when you look up on the official ds on monday as well as out into the crowd and through all the events that it really does e reflect the country. -- so -- >> let me just add one thing. and to that point as far as, you know, latino participation in the official festivities, we didn't get into the luncheon and
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the remarks beforehand, but senator schumerer invited the reverend luis cortez who founded esperanza in 1987, and he's done a tremendous amount of work to fight crime and poverty and make sure that individuals across the country b have access to affordable housing and quality education. senator schumer invited him to open the luncheon with a prayer in recognition of his, you know, long history of service. >> and i would, and if i would just really quick, um, this doesn't speak specifically to the hispanic-american community, but in shuffling my shot notes i -- shuffling my notes i did miss the fact we wanted to make sure everyone knew that merely evers williams who is the widow of slain civil rights leader med garre can evers will also be kicking it off. and this ties into the fact that this is an event that looks back at the history of our country as well as forward where the
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president wants to take the country, so we think that'll be a nice nod towards the civil rights movement and the part it's played not only in the president's life, but also in the country's life. >> why don't we go to this side over here. sir? >> my name is -- [inaudible] and i just want to know how many foreign dignitaries are coming and if there is a list for us and when will we see that? >> foreign dignitaries. >> from our standpoint i believe we're still finalizing the list of individuals who will attend, and we'll have more information on that in the coming days. traditionally, the diplomatic corps has been seated on the platform. there are about 1600 guests seated on the platform including, obviously, the president and his party, the vice president and his family and guests, governors, the house and senate, supreme court, joint chiefs and the diplomatic corps iraq there. so typically it's a group north of about 150 generally, but
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we'll have more details on that in the coming days. >> all the way in the back. sir? >> >> yes, jim oxman with scripps television. the question is for mr. colburn. there have been questions raised about the transparency of your committee in regards to donor information that haven't been e released. could you address them? >> sure, more than happy to. so the committee, according to sec regulations, has to file a filing 90 days after the inaugural takes place. that will include all information on donors, and, again, this is unique to the committee. it's a carveout in the sec regulations for us. on top of that, we are providing donors on a weekly basis the names of those that have given to the committee. we believe this is a step above and beyond the regulations placed down by the sec, and we encourage folks to go to our web site. we've been posting them friday evenings -- >> [inaudible] >> excuse me, i said at the beginning i didn't want follow-up questions. we want to give everybody a chance. yes, ma'am.
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>> katherine stephens, chicago tribune. following up on the donors, what was your fundraising goal, and where are you at today? >> sure. we haven't been discussing the goal publicly, but i can tell you we are on track to meet it. we have every comfort we will have the resources we need to put on all the events we discussed and feel very comfortable where our -- >> [inaudible] >> i'm not going to get into specific numbers. >> cheryl? >> hi. brent, this is for you. you haven't told us anything about the president's day on sunday. talk a little bit about the official swearing-in, also what else will he do that day? >> sure. >> couple more things. what will he do for the day of service, and where's bruce springsteen? [laughter] >> i can answer i don't know to a number of those. i don't know where bruce springsteen is. at this point he's not part of the talent lineup, so i'm not sure where the boss will or won't be. in terms of the president's day on sunday, again, this is a schedule that's much more driven by our partners at the white
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house, so there'll be some questions only they can answer. when inauguration falls on sunday traditionally, the public or ceremonial piece of this is held the following monday which is what we walked through earlier with matt and myself. >> the colonel. that being said, according to the constitution, he has to be sworn in on january 20th by noon. they will do that in a small, private ceremony at the white house that'll just be immediate family. it'll be pooled press, so it'll be available for the american people to see. it'll be in the blue room, from what i understand. the president will literally walk in, chief justice roberts will be there to administer the oath. he will actually be using the robinson family bible for that, the first lady's family's bible. he will do the oath, so that will be a pretty quick, official but importanter is moanny. the vice president will do the same thing in earlier that day because of scheduling, from what i understand. that will be up at the vice
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president's residence, again, with immediate family, excuse me. he will be sworn in on the biden family bible that day, so the same one that will be used on monday and that he used four years ago. in between those two they will be doing a very simple wreath laying out at arlington. this will be different from the wreath layings that folks are used to seeing them do, say on veterans day. much more low key affair. it's very similar to the ones they did four years ago. it really will just be the two of them going as is citizens toy a wreath and mark and importance of those who have given their lives. as of now those are the only things i know of -- b? >> [inaudible] >> to be determined. he won't participate, sorry, i should have mentioned that. both the bidens and obamas will participate on saturday in some sort of service activity. that'll be here in the metro area. we also have a number of cabinet officials that will be participating, we'll be making
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announcements on that in the coming days. so, again, as you all know that have covered the president, odds are you'll know when it happens, but they will be doing something, and that'll be the entire family. >> kevin? >> kevin -- [inaudible] um, just a follow up on the fund raising question. if you do have leftover funds, where do can you plan to use those funds? presidential library? charity? >> you know, i can honestly say i don't know, and i know there are rules that regulate what we can and can't do with those funds. in the past i know some funds were used that were leftover last time to help do some repairs on the national mall through the association that governs the national mall. so, you know, that's a bridge we'll cross when we come to it, but there's a number of civic-minded things we'll be able to do if we're lucky enough to have excess funds when this is all said and done. >> john brennan with cnn. whoever can address this. how many law enforcement agencies and officers will be involved in the security on the day of the inauguration?
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and, also, how large of an area will be closed off with street closures? >> first to start out, i want to apologize for saying it was morning when it was actually afternoon. to answer your question, we cannot go into detail as far as how many law enforcement officers will be present for the inauguration. and could you repeat your second question for me? >> how many agencies? >> i can't go into detail -- >> how large of an area will be closed off? >> we do have road closures in effect, and i can touch base with you afterwards to provide you with those. >> okay, thank you. >> yes, up front. >> [inaudible] my question is -- [inaudible] >> with all events that happen on the capitol complex, we train constantly to address them. as far as specific threats, i
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can't answer that right now. but just know that myself -- not myself, excuse me, united states capitol police with our law enforcement partners have trained constantly to address any issues that may come up. >> let's see, um, right here. >> herb jackson with the bergin record. two logistical questions. one is there's credentials for roaming on the mall outside the capitol area, what does that get you that you can't get as a member of the public going off the mall? and second, how are we getting off the mall, across pennsylvania avenue after the ceremony before the parade starts? if pennsylvania's locked down? does everybody have to go around the capitol and around the lincoln memorial again? >> yeah, i can do -- this won't be a super satisfying answer, but we can get back with you on details. we have an entire team at pic just concentrates on media logistics.
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i know that was an issue four years ago, so in terms of both the access issues and that, some of my colleagues can follow up afterwards, i'll put you in touch with the right folks. >> yes, sir. >> just a logistical question. what's your best guess for the running time of the ceremony from start to finish and of the parade from start to finish? >> i can handle the ceremony portion of it. we expect that the announcements on the platform of former presidents will begin around 3 3 -- 11:00. it'll take about 30 minutes to announce everyone seated on the platform. senator schumer opens the ceremony at 11:30, we expect the president will take the oath about noon, and beyonce immediately after that to wrap things up, the poem and then the final musical act. so the procession will head back inside, and we hope to have everyone back inside at about 12:30 or so. music begins for the preprogram
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at 9:30 in the morning, and other vips, not past presidents, will begin heading out to the platform at about 9:45. >> [inaudible] >> what's that? >> [inaudible] >> of course. after the inaugural speech and the performances at the end, the president will head back in. >> [inaudible] >> yes, that's right. takes the oath at noon, and we hope to have everyone heading back in off the platform by about 12:30. >> [inaudible] >> i can speak to that or you can. i also love the idea of any show that opens with chuck schumer and close z with beyonce. [laughter] i can say the parade, this is a more traditional-sized parade. our parade last year was particularly long or four years ago was particularly long. our goal is to definitely keep it under three hours, i think we're aiming for two and a half, but as you know these things can change based on weather, based on other events. i would also just say this, this parade is a little bit different from what you might see at the
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macy's day parade. folks don't stop and do something, this is a moving parade. they will move through the whole time. and there's actually two elements, this is important for planning purposes for media that will be covering it. there is, obviously, the presidential escort that goes with the limos down pennsylvania avenue to the white house. there's been a short break after that before the actual what we consider the parade begins. it's about 20 minutes. this is just so those individuals, president, first family can go inside quickly and come back out to the reviewing stand and be positioned before the first elements of the military and civilian units move by the -- >> staging area for -- [inaudible] are where? >> actually, i think, colonel, you can probably speak to that best. >> as you can imagine for all the participants in the parade with approximately 10,000 apartments, it's a -- participants, it's a huge logistical dance that happens. primarily, staging's going to happen at the pentagon parking lot. they will go through secret
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service of screening and security screens, get everybody lined up in the proper formation so that the five divisions are clear, everybody's in the correct order. and then there are, actually, logistical teams assigned to each division that are tasked with making sure that they start at the proper time, get on the right route and then once they get past the white house reviewing stand, there's different dispersal areas designated for each of the elements going through the parade so that they can get past and then disperse without kind of log jamming things behind. >> [inaudible] pennsylvania toward the, toward the white house from the capitol? >> right, right. >> and, again, best guess for start of the parade then is, what, 2:30? >> about that time, right. >> be okay. in the center here. >> emily goodman with the hill newspaper. i was wondering whether you could talk about weather contingency in case you wake up and there's snow on the ground in the morning.
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>> um, we do have a weather contingency plan. it's going to be similar to past inaugurations. the last time this happened was president reagan's second inaugural. the ceremonies would be moved inside to the rotunda, and that's a decision that the joint committee with in consultation with the presidential inaugural committee would make on sunday afternoon so that everyone has time to adjust and make plans. >> and the only thing i would add to that is that our goal is to have this event go forward. that being said, we're not going to put anybody in harm's way, so the real driver on that decision making process on summed will be public safety -- on sunday will be public safety. cold doesn't seem to slow us down, so we'll deal with that as it comes up. and i would just say, you know, look, each element of this outside of the actual swearing in really are just traditions that are important to the president, important to the first family, important to the country to really show what our
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transition of democracy is all about. so, again, our hope is to be able to move forward with as many of these events as possible regardless of what the weather is. >> yes, in the middle. >> with nick -- [inaudible] from the sunlight foundation. on the fundraising issue, why the reversal from four years ago as far as giving the amounts and sort of -- [inaudible] about each donor? it's a reversal from not only the first obama term, but george w. bush actually gave the amounts of each donor ahead of time. so what specifically decision, what decision was made to change that? was it donors' request? was there, you know, could you raise more money by keeping the amounts -- >> sure. i mean, to be honest, none of those were the considerations. my understanding is that we just kind of, you know, each one of these is created anew every four years. they are not continuations of the same committee from four years ago. like i said, we're lucky enough to have some of us who have been
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asked to do it last time, and this was just the decision in this instance in terms of disclosure. and, again, begin the fact there is the sec requirement, this will all be public. this was our attempt to go above and beyond that and add a layer of transparency. >> yes, ma'am. >> hi, jodi beck. are there telephone numbers we can call if we need to check up on something, maybe an arrest or, you know, something untoward? who is going to be available to answer phone calls? [inaudible conversations] >> ma'am, one more time, your question? i know -- >> over the weekend and on monday if we need to check on anything that's happened out of the ordinary, maybe an arrest or demonstration, something we need to check up on maybe we're not present to see but we need to find out information, who can we call? >> you can probably call me. i am the public information officer for the capitol police, so i would be the person -- [laughter] i'll talk to you afterwards. i don't -- just get with me afterwards, i will give that the
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to you. >> lots of people. fair enough. 202-224-1677. >> [inaudible] >> yeah. a couple other things on that, just useful resources. as you pick up your credentials, there will be a media guide that is in that. that media guide is current as of when it went to print i think as of last wednesday. we're still slaves to some things in the digital age. there will also be an online version available which is 2013pic.org that will be updated with any information we've gotten since it went to print. and i don't have the number handy, but we can get it for you much like the other large national events like the super bowl or other events that the secret service coordinates with local and federal and police departments on, there will be a joint information center set up for security issues, and i'm sure they'll be staffed with someone who can help you out. most of that information should be in that media guide.
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>> matt, do you want to talk about your -- >> sure. and i don't know, i've gotten a number of questions as far as when the media guide will be available. we anticipate the joint congressional committee will be publishing media guide either later on today or first thing tomorrow morning. that's going to taffe o -- to he a lot of background information, it's going to have an anticipated and projected -- everyone ice on those words -- time line for the ceremony itself. that's always subject to change based on what happens on monday. but we anticipate that and the flow of events and all the details about that in our media guide should be public later this afternoon or tomorrow morning. >> [inaudible] >> that's be on our web site. it's going to be inaugural inaugural.senate.gov, and i'll make sure everyone has an e-mail with the exact link as soon as we've got that out. >> yes, sir. >> how big the crowd that you're expecting that might come to this event, and also could it be easier logistically than 2009?
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>> i mean, yeah. the short answer on that is that the presidential inaugural committee doesn't do crowd projections. we also don't do crowd counts after the fact. our expectation, though, is this will be more in line with traditional inaugurals in terms of size of crowd. last year or four years ago was, obviously, a particularly historic event. you tend to get larger crowds when there's changes in power from one party to another, also, obviously, the president being the first african-american president created a lot of interest. look, we're very excited about this event, but this'll be much more along the size and scope of some of the previous inaugurations. and from a logistical standpoint i think as we mentioned earlier, we hope it iraq logistically as smooth as possible. i know all of the partners up here have been working very hard to make it as smooth as possible. that being said, we do beg folks' patience. these are large events. the weather could be cold. encourage folks to dress warm, be prepared to be outside and,
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you know, to work with us to make this as smooth an event as possible. >> [inaudible] romania. in terms of -- [inaudible] participation how many credentials do you receive and how many to you actually give out? >> i don't have a specific number, but it's thousands. you know, this is one of the most well-covered events in the world every four years. obviously, it has international significance, not just here in the united states. so we have thousands of media organizations apply for credentials, and matt can probably speak a little bit more to the capitol and that they're expecting. we do our best to accommodate those as much as possible. we want this to be as public an event as possible and an event that people here in the united states and around the world can really join as a symbol of what this country is all about. >> all the way in the back. >> [inaudible] with "the washington post." this question's for brent. there is a lot of interest in how many tickets were made available to the general public, particularly in light of what
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one critic us was saying as this can be sometimes seen as -- [inaudible] >> sure. l i can't give a specific percentage, but i can tell you a little bit about the universe that makes up the ball tickets. obviously, a certain percentage were given to the general public for purchase. that is unusual. that has been somewhat unique to president obama in this inauguration and the past. traditionally, there's not a public sale. obviously, this is a chance for us to say thank you to folks that have supported the president. that includes some staff members, that includes folks that contributed to the president's campaign. but it -- >> just a couple of minutes left in this program. you can see it at our web site, c-span.org. we're live now at the chamber of commerce for a discussion on ways to reduce the debt and deficit. we expect to hear from two former senate colleagues as well as budget committee chair kent conrad and judd gregg as they share their thoughts on entitlement reform, the e erasing of the debt ceiling --
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the raising of the debt ceiling and sequestration. this is just getting underway. [applause] >> well, good morning. thank you, raymond. and thanks to all of you for making it through the snow drifts. glad you all arrived safely. one flake of snow, and washington closes down. well, we're very excited about the new year. our partnership with the chamber and this morning's program featuring senators kent conrad and judd gregg. before we start our program, i'd like to recognize our sponsors, bdo represented by david trimner. if bdo could, please, stand and be recognized. [applause] all right. the broadmoor remitted by hover -- represented by lori meacham. lori, if you could -- [applause] and ceo update whose editor-in-chief is recovering
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from a bad case of the flu, so she is not here. bdo is the leader in accounting and consultancy services for associations, the broadmoor is the number one resort property for associations looking for a five-star meeting experience. i've got great memories, i remember my first experience bringing my 4-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son and feeding the ducks on their lake, and when i go back there, lori, i still like to feed the ducks. [laughter] leading authorities is very proud of the roster of speakers that we represent, and as you know, we focus on politics, business, the media and popular culture. we're also very proud of the work that we do in helping associations design and produce their events, including the practice we have in video production. as many of you know, we have a complete production studio with a group of creative people and editors who have won dozens of telly awards for videos that
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message for both live events and webs, web sites and presentations. we also have recently invested in cisco's state of the art immersive teleconference technology. l that technology is now available for you to use at our offices, and if you're interested, please, let us know. when we work with associations to design events, we focus on outcomes and impressions that are strategic and forward-looking, but we also think that events ought to engage all the five senses including sight. and this week if new york the national -- in new york the national retail federation just had its major annual event, and we're proud that leading authorities produced all their visuals. and we'd like to just show you a short clip. so, please, roll the video. ♪ >> greetings from times square,
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the heartbeat of new york city. our stylists help women all over new york express their style. >> sak's fifth avenue's shoe department has its own zip code. >> we get over 30,000 unique visitors per week. >> new york city stores will sell $52 billion of merchandise this year alone. this is macy's herald square, the the largest store in the world, and we are currently undergoing the largest renovation in the history of all retail. >> story is a new retail concept. we have the point of view of a magazine change every four to eight weeks. >> godiva has 600 stores across the world. our first store in north america was here on fifth avenue, and today it is still the number one store in north america. >> women who shop on fifth avenue and all over this great city love and trust ann taylor
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as their wardrobe destination. >> i was the 105th mayor of new york city. this is the greatest city in the world. in which to shop and especially to eat. this is my new york. >> this is my new york. >> this is our new york. >> and this is retail's big show. >> so if you're interested in -- [applause] that's sort of fun. if you're interested in exploring how we might work with you, please, let us know. it is now time to start the show. as we moved closer to the end of 2012, the nation's attention was focused on the specter of a fiscal cliff which nettenned to -- threatened to derail an already-weak economy and push us back into recession.
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last minute heroics once again saved us from ourselves, but as yogi berra said, it's déjà vu all over again. according to the treasury department, the u.s. government will hit the debt limit in the next 30-60 days. that could mean missing payments for social security, veterans' payments and loss of confidence in the u.s. by credit rating agencies, foreign governments which together threaten another financial crisis and recession. the president promises that he will not be held hostage by a republican house that's equally adamant that the price of raising the debt limit must be major reductions in the spending. and unless congress soon strikes a deal, we face automatic spending cuts with untold consequences for defense, domestic spending and the economy. to make sense of this all, we have senators kent conrad and judd gregg, both of whom served
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on the president's bipartisan commission, and both of whom are among the most respected thought leaders from their respective parties on the federal budget. let's play the video to learn more. ♪ ♪ >> in the wake of the fiscal cliff, the nation is now anticipating more questions and more partisan battles as we prepare for the next round of debates over entitlements, taxes, sequestration and the federal spending limit as we approach several mini cliffs in the coming months. for their support of today's program, leading authorities would like to thank our co-host, the u.s. chamber of commerce, and our sponsors, bdo, ceo update and the broadmoor. our speakers today both exclusively remitted by leading
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authorities -- represented by leading authorities are senators kent conrad and judd greg. senator conrad was part of the bipartisan gang of six and was named as one of "time "'s ten west senators. paul ryan said there is no democrat who knows the budge like he does. senator gregg is a national leader on fiscal policy and a well known budget expert. he is currently co-chair of the campaign to fix the debt, a nonpartisan effort to reduce the national debt and put america on a better fiscal and economic path. both senators served on president obama's national commission on fiscal responsibility and reform, otherwise known as simpson-bowles. the commission, originally modeled after legislation introduced by the pair, produced a debt reduction plan now hailed as a model of bipartisan compromise on taxes and spending and is the standard against b which all other proposals are measured.
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now, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome senators kent conrad and judd gregg. [applause] >> and, first, senator gregg. >> thank you, mark. appreciate that. that was quite an introduction. [laughter] it's great to be here with leading authorities. i've enjoyed the chance to work with them over the last couple years since i left the senate. they've been a wonderful firm to have represent me. and it's also a wonderful place to be here with kent conrad who's a close friend. i'm glad his dog, dakota, made it true so that he could be here, and it's -- he is, he calls himself a deficit hawk. he is a deficit hawk, but more importantly than that, he's a thoughtful and conscious voice
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of a conscious for the senate throughout his term there on fiscal responsibility. and we worked together in a very effective way, i thought, to try to bring some sort of bipartisan effort into the requirement that we do something about our debt. it was really, as was mentioned, an idea that he and i came up with on a long plane ride, i think to central america or south america, to put together a commission that then grew into the simpson-bowles proposal which has become the defining memo for the effort to try to get the deficit under control. so it is a great pleasure to be here today with kent. bob zoellick, the former head of the world bank, is fond of quoting a friend of his who is the foreign minister of australia. we met with a few months ago who said to him, the united states is one debt deal away from leading the world out of fiscal
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chaos and disruption. and we are. we truly are. we are a nation on the brink of massive economic expansion, in my opinion. from places that kent's from, north dakota, you're seeing this change in our paradigm on energy where we're going to go from an energy-importing country to an energy-exporting country. and our cost of energy for as far as the eye can see is going to be the lowest in the world. and it's going to change the whole dynamic of our markets and how we produce and how productive we are and the way we grow as a society. but that's only part of it. we're still the place where all the great ideas come from whether it's apple or whether it's facebook or whether it's my part of the country where we're producing just extraordinary breakthroughs in the area of medical biotechnology. and we're a place of massive liquidity. there's so much cash sitting around in this country that wants to do something in the area of producing wealth and economic activity that it's overwhelming. and america's still inherently entrepreneurial. we still have people who are willing to go out and take risks
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in order to create opportunity for themselves and for the people they employ. of but the one thing that makes people concerned in our nation and in the world is our fiscal house and the fact that we are, as kent will certainly explain, on a totally unsustainable path. and that if we stay on this path, we will essentially bankrupt our future and our children's future and reduce our standard of living. and so how do we resolve this? how do we resolve this? how do we get that one deal, as the foreign minister of australia said? well, it appears that the big bang approach kent and i tried to promote which was a comprehensive agreement that would just be put together by the congress and then simpson-bowles picked up the ball is not going to be the way it happens. it appears it's going to happen through increments, a chunk here, a chunk there. and we've seen this happening over the last two years where we had the event of august 2011 with the budget control act
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which produced a very substantial deficit reduction effort in the area of discretionary spending. i think it was scored at $900 billion, is that right? $900 billion. it also produced a supercommittee which didn't get results, but it did move of the ball by putting some ideas on the table. and then you had the biden group, and you had the gang of six which kent was part of, and then you had the president and the speaker, and you had these issues which moved the ball down the road but didn't get conclusion. and then we had the fiscal cliff event here which was a debacle. looking at it from the outside, no longer being in the congress, it just looked awful. and it was awful. and an opportunity was missed there, in my opinion. especially by the house republicans to take up what would have been a fairly legitimate savings, and what we ended up with was a tax bill. so we now have $900 billion in discretionary spending, $600 billion of revenue. the next exercise, in my opinion, has to be about spending restraints,
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specifically entitlements. because that's where the big enchilada is, and that's the issue that really hasn't been taken up yet. how do we get to that? as we all know, there are three pressure points coming at us. you've got the sequester, you've got the debt ceiling, and you have the continuing resolution. the sequester and debt ceiling sort of fall on top of each other towards the end of february. we used to say in the republican leadership group in the senate which i had the good fortune to serve in for about 12 years as sort of an ad hoc member, you never take a hostage you can't shoot. [laughter] the problem with the house was they took a hostage they couldn't shoot when they took the fiscal cliff. and if republican members of the congress take the debt ceiling as a hostage, it's a hostage they can't shoot. as a very practical matter, if we go over the debt ceiling, we don't exceed -- we don't increase the debt ceiling, republicans aren't going to win the debate. they'll argue that they're not
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increasing it because they don't want to control spending, but they're not going to win the debate, because what will happen is that the white house will pay with the cash flow of the country the debt, the interest on the debt. the debt won't default. what they might not pay and will certainly threaten not to pay are social security checks. and the moment that the american citizen figures out that the social security checks might not go out, game's over. because, believe me, no congress can stand up to the senior lobby if it's concerned and rightly concerned about its ability to exist because it doesn't get it checks. so that's not a legitimate process, to take the debt ceiling as the hostage. the appropriate goal here whether the debate should occur, plus, if you use the debt ceiling as the issue, the president gets to talk about default, he gets to talk about social security, and from a republican standpoint, we should be talking about spending, spending restraint. so what's the logical place to do this? obviously, it's on the sequester. that's where the next pressure
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point should be, and we should have the debate over how much spending should be explained. the president said he'll do a two for one event, two dollars of spending for every dollar of revenue. $1.2 trillion of spending restraint, that makes sense. the two match up rather equally. ..
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>> the only way you can get agreements with both sides win by the way, if something like this. where there are a series of entitlement changes which do not impact immediately and leapfrog the president's term in office, so the price he will pay will not be significant any era of political capital, but which do very significant steps in getting our fiscal house in order. most of our entitlements concern that down the road driven event, the baby boom generation is fully retired and are entitlement system can't support that generation on its present structure. basically involves giving people enough time to anticipate that change so they can build their life structure as they go into retirement to handle it. i happen to think the biggest of this was put on the table by the president. i respect them for that. that's changing from a regular
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cola. at the very appropriate i. it only saves 250-$300 billion. only in washington, only event. but it's a multiplier a thing. it compounds aggressively in the second 10 years is more than a trillion. big huge events. because inflation is low it won't be felt dramatically by anybody. in the near term. also changing the age. phasing in over 60 or so no one under the age of 20 would be affected by the change we make. you would've thought we are going to do tomorrow. at the president is carrying the bully pulpit on the issue, which he should be able to do, you can do that. and then, of course, there's this whole issue of changing medicare reimbursement from a utilization and cost plus system to be an outcome value system. that's what takes time but there's a lot we can do in that area. we can be -- do very massive
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spending. they are structural, and if they are -- they can't be reversed, which was agreed to by the gang of six i believe, then they can be locked in place. how do you do the revenue side? if the president needs the revenue he will have trouble getting it this round. but if you i just want more revenue the way you get it is by having tax reform where you change these tax also their more efficient and create more revenue. so you direct the committees to do tax reform. much more complicated issue. but clearly there is a pathway to get this done. that needs to be done. i believe we have an opportunity to do it if the republicans take the right posture in this round. thank you very much. [applause] >> well, we've just heard the
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answer. so we can all leave here feeling very good. i recommend you immediately call your broker and invest any fund you have in cash into the market, and tell them judd gregg century. look, i think judd is really largely right about this in terms of our overall economic condition, but we do face this extraordinary challenge in the near term. before i get into that let me first thank leading authority for organizing this. mark french, matt jones, thank you. i have so enjoyed joining your team. and to be on team with judd gregg. that is something that delights me. let me just say in the united states senate, judd and i were chairmen and ranking member of the budget committee. sixers ago as he describes we were on a trip to central and south america, and during that trip came up with the concept of a commission to deal with our
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runaway deficits and debt. and during those long plane rides our lives that patiently listening to judd and i go over how a commission might be fashioned, what its goal might be, how it might operate in order to achieve a result, we came back with the idea of a statutory commission, basically a commission set in law. and when we took that idea to our colleagues a vote in the united states and, we got 53 votes for the proposition. unfortunately, in the senate you need 60 votes, and so we were seven votes short. interestingly enough, seven of our original cosponsors voted no on the date of the vote. if we would've had those seven original cosponsors, we would have had a commission that was in law and that might've made a profound difference. because we did not we then had to go to an executive order commission, commission ordered by the president of the united
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states, which became the bowles-simpson, or simpson-bowles commission on which both judd and i served. and we were two of the 11 votes in favor of its recommendations. there were 18 of us, evenly divided, democrats and republicans. 11 voted in favor, five republicans, five democrats and one independent. that is as bipartisan as you can get. you may be wondering, how is it if you at 11 of 18 votes it didn't go to a vote to the congress. well, normally 60% of the vote carries even in the united states senate. but on the commission, the requirement was you had to have 14 of the 18 agree. so we were three short. but we did put together a plan that serves as i think a very good blueprint going forward. and it's a blueprint that i still think has relevance today. i thought since we are now on the brink of another debt limit
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fight, that it might be useful to kind of review where we are. and as judd know so well, i'm never comfortable and less i have slides or charge. so let's go to the charged -- charts. when you look at where we are, we are borrowing 31 cents of every dollar that we spend. that's somewhat of an improvement because we were borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend, so we've had some improvement. but that's an unsustainable circumstance. you can't be borrowing 31 cents of every dollar that you spend. when we look back on how look at in this situation, obviously deficits are a function of relationship between spending and revenue. the red line on this chart is the spending, going back to 1950 as a share of our growth domestic product.
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the green problem is -- gross domestic product. what you can see is that gaps between those two, we're spending at 20 to 20% of gdp in 2012, revenue is 15 when it. that difference represents a deficit of $1.1 trillion. so you can see we are very close to being at a 60 year high in spending, and very close to being at a 60 year low in revenue. so i would say to those who say we just have a spending problem, i think you got that half right. i think we've also got a revenue problem. that needs to be addressed. let's go to the next slide if we can. the result of these deficits and debt is that we now have a gross debt that is more than 100% of our gross domestic product. you can see right in the middle of that graph, in 2012, the gross debt of the united states has now reached 104%. why does that matter? the best academic research, a
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book by rogoff of harvard, reinhard, the university of michigan i think she was when she did the study, look at 200 use of economic history. and concluded once you get a gross debt of more than 90% of your gross domestic product, your future economic prospects are dramatically reduced. future economic growth is reduced anywhere from 25 to 33%. so these are not just numbers on a page. this is a question of future economic opportunity here how is the economy going to grow? what kind of life our our people going to lead? that's why this matters so much. when you get to a gross debt of more than 100% of gdp, your future economic prospects are reduced.
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well, we've talked about the revenue side of the equation, the spending side of the equation. looking at the revenue, i showed a slight earlier to show the revenues at 1520% of gdp. typically if you look at the economic history of the country last 30 years, average revenue has been about 18.6% of gdp. but the last five times we have balanced the budget, revenue was not at 18.6% of gdp. it was close to 20%. you can see in 69, 98, 99, 2000, 2001, revenue and the times we balance was close to 20% at gdp. that kind of sets up the question of what the president proposed, because he was calling for $1.6 trillion of additional revenue. remember, that's not what we got in his last deal. it was 650 billion.
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but what he was going for was $1.6 trillion of revenue over the next six years. to put that in context, how much revenue are we programmed to raise over the next 10 years? that number is $37 trillion. so $1.6 trillion increase in revenue is 4.3%. we can't get an additional 4% in revenue? of course we can. you know, i think part of the problem we have in washington is we use these big numbers, nobody really knows what they mean. nobody puts them in context. if we put this in context, 4% additional revenue over the next 10 years, certainly we can do that. let's go to the next slide. because the signature on the spending side of the equation. now let me just say, i use these slides on the floor of the senate to try to persuade my colleagues to negotiate up. the president laid down his
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plan, the speaker lay down his plan. i went to the floor of the senate and i said, hey, let's take the president's revenue number, let's take the speakers spending proposals, let's take them both. let's put them together and let's have a package that actually gets the job done. because together their proposals would have meant $4 trillion of deficit and debt reduction which virtually every economist says is what's necessary to stabilize the debt, and to begin to bring it down, to really put us on a sound, long-term fiscal course. so takes up residence in revenue proposal, $1.6 trillion -- by the way, that's less revenue than we had in the simpson-bowles proposal, which on a fair comparison would have been to $.4 trillion in revenue. if you take the same years at issue. you take the same baseline, simpson-bowles had more revenue than the president was proposing.

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